BANGKOK, Thailand, May 7, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Another partner of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace (D&P) has been found promoting abortion and contraception in the developing world. Ironically, the group, which admits that one of its main sources of funding is the Canadian Catholic bishops’ official development arm, has also repeatedly criticized the Catholic Church and its bishops for their stance on “reproductive choice.”
Bangkok-based Focus on the Global South (FGS) was founded in 1995, and works in Thailand, India, and the Philippines. They conduct research and advocacy related to “globalisation, neo-liberalism and militarisation,” according to their website.
The group is a co-signatory of a March 2010 statement, posted to its website, for a woman’s march on the International Day of Women, which states: “We are daughters, sisters, mothers, marching to assert our rights over our bodies and claim our entitlement to public and reproductive services, in the face of greater impositions from the church, religious fundamentalisms and even the state, which choose to decide for us, and even worse, decide to deny us the right to choose.”
FGS’s founding director and current senior analyst, Dr. Walden Bello, is an elected representative in the Filipino legislature, and has been a vocal advocate of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill that has been vigorously opposed by the Filipino bishops, in part, on the basis that it presents a grave danger to the unborn through its promotion of abortifacient contraception. Dr. Bello is also the president of the Freedom from Debt Coalition, another D&P partner that has advocated on behalf of the RH bill.
FGS’s website features a February 2010 article by Bello in which he bemoans the Filipino bishops’ success in lobbying against the RH bill. He accuses the bishops of conducting a “massive campaign” of “systematic disinformation about the bill,” and says the bishops did not want a debate on the bill because “rational, enlightened exchange would have revealed the aims of the bill to be not only morally legitimate but ethically imperative.”
According to the bishops, however, in a November 2008 pastoral letter, “the Bill in its present form poses a serious threat to life of infants in the womb. It is a source of danger for the stability of the family. It places the dignity of womanhood at great risk.” The bishops reiterated this position in a December 2009 statement.
Bello complains in his article that, “One religious denomination arrogates to itself the right to speak for all religions and to veto the opinion of other religious organizations on reproductive rights.”
In a November 2009 speech discussing the situation of migrants, also posted to the group’s website, Bello notes that “Filipina women, for instance, are afforded in Europe and the United States the means to assert their reproductive rights via contraception which benighted forces make it difficult for them to obtain back home.”
But Bello is not the only staff member openly opposing the Church and her teachings on life through the group’s website. In a footnote to a paper on the United Nations, senior associate Nicola Bullard statesthat at the UN’s “women’s and population review conferences, a great deal of political energy was spent simply maintaining a minimal line on reproductive choice in the face of the reactionary onslaught from the US and the Vatican.”
The anti-life stance of this D&P partner was discovered by John Pacheco of the SoCon or Bust blog.
FGS is listed as a partner on page 177 of D&P’s 2006-2011 Development Program. In an interview about FGS on Bello’s personal website,he notes D&P as one of FGS’s main funding sources and explains that FGS only accepts money where “there are no strings attached.”
LifeSiteNews did not hear back from Focus on the Global South by press time.
A few things to take note of in LifeSite’s folllowup story to Socon or Bust’s initial investigation into Focus on the Global South.
1) You’ll notice the Canadian Catholic Church continues to fund anti-Catholic forces which are driving hard to take down the Church and the unborn in the developing world. Par for the course on these efforts for sure – no real news on this front, but it does add another shovel full of “social justice” dung to throw on the pile for good measure. The Philippines is a real target for obvious reasons, being the only Catholic country in Asia and served by faithful bishops. It is a big player in the revival of the Catholic Church in the world so it’s natural that it would become one of the main targets of the population controllers.
2) Notice Dr. Bello is the driving force in two of these groups which D&P funds? It’s money and influence that moves abortion politics, not the grassroots as they want you to think. It would be interesting to find out what the relationship is between Bello and the management of Development & Peace. Obviously, they know each other.
3) FGS only accepts money with “no strings attached.” What does D&P have to say about that? “We continue to work with our bishops and our partners and refuse to answer the specific allegations…” That’s what they say.
“No strings attached” means Canadian money is going there to pay for the abortion movement in the Philippines, courtesy of the Winnipeg Statement, by the way.
“No strings attached”, however, only applies to the money that D&P gives. It doesn’t apply to the spiritual noose around their collective necks when they have to give an accounting before Almighty God for the crimes against humanity they are co-operating in. God have mercy on their souls.
The Bishops of the Philippines are being attacked because of the money that D&P and their enablers in the Episcopacy send to the anti-Catholic forces in the Philippines.